Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Baby Toys

It's been a busy week here at The Little House and I've certainly had my hands full. Too full. Henry has had a cold and I strongly suspect that he's working on an ear infection. He has been cranky and awake and I haven't gotten a single thing done all week. I'm looking forward to next week being much nicer since a virus simply can't last forever. So, I'll sip my whiskey and soda and dream sweet dreams of Next Week.

There's been something that's come up in my world that has really put a burr in my underpants. Needless to say, I've been unsettled in my mind and I've had a hard time putting it aside and moving past it. I'm not someone who spends time being upset in any meaningful way and so this has been something of a shock to my system. Of course, I can't talk about it, not to anyone, and I REALLY can't post about it on the INTERNET so it has been my burden to carry. I've been praying for peace and for my mind to be at rest, but it has been hard.

But I'll move on now to something I can write about. I want to hear what you have to say about Baby Toys. I was playing with Henry the other day and it occurred to me that he would be out-growing his baby toys soon ('soon' being a relative term) and that I would have to figure out what to do with them.

Most of them I don't care a whit about, but I was surprised to discover that I have a pretty strong attachment to some of them. My memories of the children playing with one toy or another are so strong that I cannot imagine parting with that toy. To get rid of it seems to be getting rid of a tangible part of my memories of The Babies that I don't know how I'm going to do it. I know that most moms have boxes (and boxes?) of impedimenta of their children's babyhood. I am just not sure that I want to keep lots of old things in boxes. I doubt very much that any of my kids are going to grow up and want any of it so I'll be keeping it mostly out of sentiment.

In the past I have taken pictures of things like my old stuffed animals so I could keep the memory and still let go of the item, but I'm not sure that technique is going to work for this situation. I'm wondering what you do? What do you keep? What do you give away? What do you throw away?

In the meantime, I made sure to take a picture of Henry playing with one of my favorite baby toys of all time.

I think it's called a Whoozit. I bought it for Thomas when he was a baby because he HATED being in the carseat with a red hot fury. I found that the only way I could keep him happy was with toys--lots of toys--or he would scream, scream, scream for however long it would take to drive some place. I would pile baby toys in the passenger seat next to me and whenever he would fuss I would toss another toy into the back to keep him happy. This toy was great. It has lots of loops for little fingers to grab onto so it was easy to hold and would keep him happy for quite a while. All of the kids have enjoyed it. I look at it and it brings back those early months of parenting like nothing else. For better or worse, I suppose!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

March Hare

I woke up this morning to see the thermometer reading -4 degrees.

C'mon, Weather--can't you cut me even a little slack? I'm pretty sure this winter was written by Kafka.

Ok. I'll stop whining for now.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hospital: Redux

Ok, so I'm getting really sick of the hospital. If our Children's Hospital gave frequent flier miles for every visit, I'm pretty sure I could take my whole family some place warm for the rest of the winter.

We've been a bit under the weather these days. Anna had a slight fever one day; Thomas had a fever a day later. I thought we might get lucky and that Henry would escape with just a passing cold or fever, but sadly that was not the case. Saturday we started to see a little congestion with Henry. Nothing serious, just a dry cough now and then. Sunday he was doing a little more dry coughing, but it was still nothing that even hit my radar. By Monday, however, I was hauling him into the clinic to see if that weird wheezing noise was anything I should be concerned about or whether is was a result of a harmless cold--you know the type--a snotty nose draining in the back of the throat or something like that. He'd thrown up a fair bit of phlegm the night before, so I didn't think it was outside the realm of possibility. The doctor listened to his lungs and declared them clear.

To make a long, long story short, by that evening Henry had stopped breathing properly and was restless and wheezing hard. He would try to cry and end with a dry, barking cough which only made him cry harder. I tried all the usual things and then spent a couple of hours dithering about on the advisability of bringing him to the ER. I was reluctant to spend several middle-of-the-night hours in an ER, subjecting Henry to all manner of unpleasantness, only to be told that he was 'fine' and to 'keep an eye on him'. Finally, I decided that I wasn't going to sleep anyway and Henry certainly wasn't getting any rest, so I might as well bring him in and be told that it was 'nothing'.

Nothing, indeed.

I've found that there is something worse than sitting for hours in an ER waiting to be seen by the doctor on call. What's worse is going up to register your baby and getting a whole lot of attention all at once by everyone who's available.

It turns out that croup causes a lot of excitement when small babies have it.

The doctor told me her diagnosis and all I could think was, "Croup? Seriously? Didn't Anne Shirley fix it with some humidity and ipecac?" I thought it was sort of like whooping cough--one of those antique illnesses that no one got anymore. Apparently they do.

We were finally able to come home after 13 hours and a LOT of medical intervention. He was given two doses of a steroid, among other more dramatic things, which is making him a little restless. He still has a wheezy cough, but he is able to breath without too much effort. They predicted that he will be right as rain in about five days, give or take. Despite my own bone-crushing cold and fever, I am still awake, listening to him breath and fuss a bit in his sleep. I am tense, though relieved, that the worst of this illness has passed.

I'm sure there are those of you who know all about this sort of thing and would have handled the whole incident with poise and aplomb. I envy you. This was likely the second most frightening thing that has ever happened in my life and I hope to never, ever have to repeat it. I'm an optimistic person, in general, but this time I am seriously out of sunshine. O.U.T. If Pollyanna were here, I'd push her to the ground and maybe take her lunch money.

Sometimes it seems like I have a long, long life left to live. Sometimes I wish I were already 90 years old. I think that by the time I'm 90 I'll finally be able to catch my breath and relax.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Looking For Spring: Random Thursday

We've been quiet here at Chez Sarah these days. Mostly we're hanging on, waiting for winter to finally end. We've had some days that looked promising, but I have a feeling we're going to get whipped back into winter in another week.

It was 40 degrees today and I was in my garage, spray painting a headboard for Anna's Big Girl Bed. Anna was dressed in her hat, coat, mittens, and rain pants. I was chilly in a long sleeve shirt and some bib overalls that I swear used to fit me when I was in college. She was running up and down our driveway, describing to me in detail everything she was doing and everything she saw. She came up the driveway and went around the corner of the garage where the rain gutters leak onto the walkway to the house. I heard a muffled cry and I put the spray can down to see what had happened. Anna was sitting on the wet ice with her legs bent every which way. I asked her if she was hurt and she sighed and said no. As I was helping her up and over the thick ice she said, "I'm tired of the Slippery Season, Mommy."

I know, Honey. I know.

The headboard isn't going to work out, by the way. I had it all painted and put up in Anna's room when I came upstairs to make up the bed. I guess it had been too wet or too cold when I painted it because the paint was coming off in big flakes. The paint can says that it should be warmer than 50 degrees with lower-than-raining humidity for the paint to work best. I guess that means I have to wait until JUNE before I'm allowed to spray paint anything. I love living in Minnesota, but LORD the weather is discouraging.

Another random Bit of Nothing: A week ago or so we were having another one of these strange half-thaw sorts of days and I sent the kids out to play. A day later the Twin Cities was hit with a heavy snowstorm that landed inches and inches of snow within a few hours. I was so glad I had kicked their butts outside when the weather was nice until I heard Peter getting them dressed up to go play in the fresh snow.

"Where are your yarn mittens?"


"Outside? Where did you leave them outside?"

"I don't know. By the tree?"

We look helplessly out the window at the SEVEN INCHES of fresh snow that lay on the ground where only mud and ice had been the day before.

Some days I'm not sure God really meant for people to live here, but that doesn't stop us from trying.